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Trump faith adviser caught covering up GOP lawmaker’s sexual abuse of teen

Tony Perkins, a leader of the religious right who heads the Council for National Policy as well as the extremely conservative Family Research Council, and who serves as one of Donald Trump’s top evangelical advisers, covered up allegations that an Ohio Republican state lawmaker sexually abused a teen boy two years ago. According to a new […]

By Caroline Orr - November 18, 2017
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Tony Perkins
Tony Perkins, president of the religious right Family Research Council and an adviser to Trump

Tony Perkins, a leader of the religious right who heads the Council for National Policy as well as the extremely conservative Family Research Council, and who serves as one of Donald Trump’s top evangelical advisers, covered up allegations that an Ohio Republican state lawmaker sexually abused a teen boy two years ago.

According to a new report from the Washington Post — which mentions that Perkins endorsed Trump’s candidacy but neglected to note his continued advisory role in the administration — Perkins was told that GOP lawmaker Wesley Goodman had fondled an 18-year-old boy in his sleep after a gathering of donors at a 2015 conference in Washington D.C.

Goodman, a “rising evangelical star,” resigned this week after state legislative leaders learned he had engaged in a consensual same-sex encounter in his office — two years after he allegedly sexually abused a teen boy.

According to the Post, Perkins was made aware of the 2015 incident soon after it happened, when the teen’s stepfather wrote to him.

“If we endorse these types of individuals, then it would seem our whole weekend together was nothing more than a charade,” the boy’s stepfather wrote.

“Trust me . . . this will not be ignored nor swept aside,” Perkins wrote in response. “It will be dealt with swiftly, but with prudence.”

But that’s not what happened.

Instead, Perkins wrote a letter to Goodman in which he privately asked the candidate to put his campaign on hold until he sought treatment, telling him:

“Going forward so soon, without some distance from your past behavior and a track record of recovery, carries great risk for you and for those who are supporting you.”

Goodman didn’t drop out, and he went on to defeat two Republicans in a primary before winning his seat in the Ohio statehouse last November.

During that time, Perkins kept the allegations of child sexual abuse against Goodman under wraps, apparently more concerned with electing Republican candidates than protecting children from sexual predators.

Even worse, the 2015 incident might not be the only one, according to the Post. In a letter to Goodman, Perkins referred to unspecified prior “similar incidents,” none of which were ever made public by the prominent conservative activist.

With people like Perkins advising Trump, perhaps it shouldn’t come as such a surprise that Trump has refused to speak out against accused child sexual predator Roy Moore.

From the looks of it, protecting sexual predators is the price of admission to the party of “family values.”


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